Thursday, July 31, 2014

NYC Marathon Training Week #2 Update

Delayed recap of week #2, fueled by a trip out of town and ongoing remodeling of my house which has essentially displaced us out of the main living level and into the bedrooms or out on the patio when we're home. I missed a run this week, partially on motivation factor, though worked out all 7 days (yes, I know, rest is my friend) and 9 in a row. Week #3's Monday rest day WAS taken for those who might read and think "over training". And believe it or not, I did get up for a 5:30am Pure Barre class (4:45 wake up!) which was worth it in exchange for the shenanigans of Thursday evening. I also kind of missed my "double days" this week (WEIRD). It's amazing what our bodies will do when we truly ask them to commit to the load and then also fuel them properly.

In summary:
Planned miles: 24
Completed miles: 17.8 plus 3 Pure Barre classes (3 hours total), 1 Body Pump class (1 hour) and a few short walks with my dogs (not documented in the mileage above)

Training highlight: Feeling like a total bad ass rocking out my 8 mile "long run" Friday after work (and before driving to Auburn) even though I was TIRED from Thursday's concert and my feet were still swollen from the heels/hours of standing and dancing. Mind over matter.

Non-training highlight: Thursday night Luke Bryan concert with my friend Nicole. 

Waiting for the main man to take the stage
Some people really push back against "bro country" but I enjoy his music and the imagery it evokes (and let's be honest, he's HOT--though I liked his music before I knew what he looked like!). His radio stuff is pretty good, but honestly like with most artists the more you explore their albums the more good stuff you find. He (and his opening acts) gave a lot of energy to the crowd and I'm hoping to make it back to a "Farm Tour" concert in Auburn this fall.

"Shut it Down" on piano (One of those "unreleased" songs I was referring to above)
Sorry for the blurry phone pic, I had brought my good camera (with the zoom) from home and then left it at work on my desk for the actual concert! Pissed. Oh well. Next time :)

Favorite gear this week: Without a doubt my smart phone. Internet radio (Pandora and Spotify both have uses in my world), You Tube and even my online Italian lessons got me through my running this week.

To Do Next Week: I still need to order some more socks and continue stocking up on new/retiring my old sports bras. I've got a coupon and I keep leaving it at home in the renovation chaos.

And the details:
Monday: Plan--OFF; Actual-- 1 hour Pure Barre, plus walking Roxy 1 mile.

Tuesday: Plan--5 miles "Regular Run"; Actual--4.8 miles, avg pace 9:48. Jemison Trail plus add on segment. I realized that left my GPS at home so I was running mostly by feel and just clocked a start and end time. Could have tried to estimate .2 but really, why? Close enough. Plus, felt great about a strong performance despite 90+% humidity. I was saved by tree cover and overcast skies.

Wednesday: Plan--5 miles run "As You Feel"; Actual--5 miles AYF. Met up with Amy for the Trak Shak run. Extremely small crowd because it has been monsooning 30 minutes before the start and we weren't sure if we would be totally rained out of our meet up. Light drizzle to begin but cleared up throughout the run. Felt good and kept easy, conversational effort. Walked Roxy when I got home (.6 miles)

Thursday: Plan--6 miles Intervals; Actual--1 hour Pure Barre at 5:30am! I ran this workout last Sunday and knew that with the concert Thursday night after work if I was going to do *anything* it would have to be super early before work. Not going to essentially "double" on runs within 12 hours (or run 4 days in a row), so I was happy to make an early PB class fit in here. Dare I say, the 4:45am wake up wasn't actually that bad but I was hungry ALL DAY and felt a little energy lag after lunch. On the half mile stretch to get out of my neighborhood I saw 5 runners (2 groups) and 4 walkers (2 groups). WTF?!?! I was really surprised to see that many people in a residential area out at 5:15am. 

Friday: Plan--OFF; Actual--8 miles "long run". Avg 10:33. I was headed out of town for the weekend to attend a memorial and knew that after driving late my motivation to get up and do 8 solo miles Saturday morning would be low--and then it would be hanging over my head Sunday. So even though I was exhausted from staying out until midnight and then working another full day--AND my feet were still sore/swollen from the heels I wore to the concert, I headed to the gym to just GET IT DONE.

I was fueled by the "post concert" high so to break up the time I listened to some LB on Spotify, watched a few funny videos on YouTube and listened to one of my online Italian lessons.

Mile 0-2.5: 10:40 pace, Mile 2.5-4.5: 10:31. Took a quick break for Gu and to towel off. Mile 4.5-6.5: pace varied between 10:00 and 10:40. Mile 6.5-8: 10:40 and gradually moved it up every couple minutes to finish the run at a solid 9:40.

Foam rolled for 15 minutes once I got to Auburn.
Saturday: Plan--"Flex Day"; Actual--1 hour Body Pump. Took the class at my aunt's gym. Had a little celebrity/athlete run-in here, but I'll be discreet ;) since it's a private club and also some place I'll be returning to in the fall when I'm in town for football games. My right knee/IT band continue to feel a little "tweaky" so came home and foam rolled for 15 minutes after class. Also walked my aunt's dog (Duke) .6 miles.

Sunday: Plan--8 miles "long" run; Actual--1 hour Pure Barre. Walk Roxy and Bali .6 miles. I probably could have/should have made up the 6 miles today but I was BEAT. We got back from Atlanta (from Auburn) close to midnight on Saturday. Then Sunday I had to drive back to Birmingham. Upon return, found my living room knee deep in renovations. I passed out for a short mid-afternoon nap and basically drug myself to Pure Barre at 5:30pm--and really that was mostly because I'm just trying to make the most of my (expensive) unlimited monthly membership!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

NYC Marathon Training Week #1 Update

Sign that marathon training has resumed...
Can't believe week #1 is in the books. Overall, I'm pretty pleased with how training turned out this week, though you'll notice flexibility with the plan already! The beginning of the week was brutally hot and humid and though we had a bit of "polar vortex" in the middle of the week, my schedule didn't line up for me to truly enjoy the mid-summer cool down due to some appointments and the way the schedule was prescribed. Doing "doubles" after work pretty much makes me useless in the evening productivity-wise, so on days in the future where I am trying to double up with runs and PB, I might have to get creative with the scheduling or try to move one of the workouts to the morning (and I am SO NOT a morning person).

In summary:
Planned miles: 21
Completed miles: 21.8 plus 3 hours of Pure Barre and a few short walks with my dog, Roxy (not documented in the mileage)

Training highlight: Getting to take a Pure Barre class with my aunt who was visiting this weekend; runner-up: Rocking a 6 mile interval workout this afternoon and feeling excellent pretty much the entire time.

Favorite gear this week: It's a tie between...My blender (recovery smoothies in between double workouts were essential to keeping me going) and my foam roller (massage therapist identified that my IT band was tight before training even started so I REALLY REALLY need to make this my BFF in the coming days)

To Do Next Week: I probably need to order some more socks and continue stocking up on new/retiring my old sports bras. Laundry is a never-ending quest around here. I can't imagine if I had kids...

And the details:
Monday: Plan--5 miles "Regular Run"; Actual-- 5.1 miles, avg pace 10:13 (plus an untimed .5 w/u and c/d. Location: Lakeshore Greenway. Brutally hot and humid and I pretty much bargained with myself the entire time to keep going. Was supposed to be a progression run but once I dialed back, I couldn't find any "get up and go". So humid that my socks and shoes were actually "squishy" at the end and I took them off for the drive home!

Tuesday: Plan--5 miles "Regular Run"; Actual--5 miles, avg pace 10:17. After yesterday's soul crusher, I renewed my membership at the Rec so I could get access to the treadmill again! Better than outside but I'm pretty sure the gym's AC couldn't keep up today because my water bottle was "steamy" within the first half mile. Ran at prescribed pace (between 10:20 and 10:31) throughout the run and then finished the last .5 miles with progressive "kick" to the finish.

Went home for a quick outfit change and protein smoothie before hitting up a late (8pm) 1 hour Pure Barre class. LTB!

Wednesday: Plan--OFF; Actual--OFF. Wouldn't normally do this but had a medical exam on Thursday that prohibited working out for 24 hours prior. (I'm fine, just worth a bit more to Matt now in the event I die anytime soon...) Took advantage of this to get a needed manicure and catch up on laundry.

Thursday: Plan--4 miles run "As You Feel"; Actual--4 miles "AYF". I LOVE that this plan specifically sets workouts that are meant to be untimed/unpaced--hence the term "As You Feel". Not only is it mentally freeing but it also allows you to run with people who may not be at your training paces without feeling "guilty" (if that makes any sense). I don't normally (EVER) care about that but when in "training" I really do try to make the most of what I'm "supposed" to be doing. Met up with my close friend (and first running buddy dating back YEARS) Amy for a social run on Jemison trail (part technical, part paved). My runs with her are so good for the soul and I look forward to them always.

And like Tuesday, outfit change and protein smoothie before another 1 hour Pure Barre class.

Friday: Plan--OFF; Actual--1.7 miles EASY. Matt's idea to take one of our dogs (Bali) out for an easy run/walk while waiting for family to arrive. Would have been more but it started raining and there was no need to push this.

Saturday: Plan--"Flex Day"; Actual--1 hour Pure Barre. With Flex Days, the plan gives you mileage if you feel like running or leaves room for a day of cross training (XT) with no running. You can pretty much bet I'm always going to choose the XT option here.

Sunday: Plan--7 miles "long" run; Actual--6 miles Intervals (1.5 w/u @10:30, 6x800 with 1 minute rest between sets--2 @ 9:50, 2 @9:40, 2 @9:31, 1.5 c/d @10:30) own mental game got the better of me today. My aunt and I were supposed to run 5 of my 7 together and I kept waiting for her to wake up, but she opted to sleep in. By the time she was up, it was hotter than either of us wanted and she wanted to get a few other things accomplished while in Birmingham that we didn't get to yesterday. No biggie but they didn't leave until mid-afternoon and I really wasn't in the mood for a solo humidity fest or a 7 mile slog on the mill. However, I am always up for speed or intervals, so I checked out my week #2 training to see this on the schedule and subbed the workout. Felt excellent the entire time and while I know I can't make that a regular substitution, it was nice to end the week on a "win, so I'll take it this time.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Start Spreading the News...

NYC Marathon training started today....

I don't even know where to begin after my silence from the past 18 months. All I can say is that 2013 was a CRAZY and AMAZING year both personally and professionally and after the spring, long distance training really dropped off while I focused on work and personal stuff.

No I didn't have a baby...but I did get married :)

It was below freezing and if you look closely (above) you can see our hands are purple!
They were thawed out by this point :)

He got me unexpectedly!

By no means did I stop running or working out but with working 50-60 hours/week (not including commute), planning a destination wedding (no coordinator) and traveling nearly every weekend during the fall (football season!), I needed to focus on QUALITY. HIIT and strength training became my go-to, mixed with shorter (3-5 mile) runs, yoga, zumba (and here in 2014...Pure Barre). I also started working with a nutritionist (NO, not for the wedding...) and have made some fairly significant changes to my diet (but I'll leave it at that for now).

So, anyway, after 3 years of striking out in the NYC marathon lotto, I finally got in this year via guaranteed entry and will be running the marathon on November 2nd. That's 16 weeks from yesterday in case anyone is counting ;)

I've seen some pretty decent improvements in my fitness and pace over the past year and entertained getting a coach but after doing a bit of research (and realizing that the coach I truly wanted was WAYYYYY out of my budget), I've signed up for the NYRR Virtual Marathon Trainer. Not only was the price right ($49.99 for the whole program!) but I love that when setting up the program it took into account how I have recently been training, past running experience, and how I want to approach this training cycle. There is a place online to log each workout (paces, RPE, details, etc) and the trainer will actually adjust based on how I'm actually performing and translate this into predicted race day performance along the way. (For example, after logging tonight's miserable 5 miler in 97 degree heat/10000% humidity, the trainer has already adjusted my paces for tomorrow's run!)

Don't worry, you won't be getting a daily diary, but I will be posting a weekly log of training for others to use as reference or if you just happen to be curious.

I'll also try to update on some of my other shenanigans, including other fitness classes or experiences I'm getting into and reviews of some travels as they come up. (7 months later and we still haven't taken a honeymoon but one is in the works. We'll see how this may or may not impact my training!)

If there is anything else anyone is curious about, just leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer. I've missed this outlet and am happy to be back in action!

One more non-sweaty picture since those have consistently dominated the blog over the years. Yes, I wear real clothes (not just running shorts and wedding dresses...or running capris and high heels...)

Yes, I am a die hard CFB fan! Thanks to my cousin for the sign and for accompanying me on our CA adventure.